The poppies art installation at the Tower of London has taken over public imagination. The installation, by Paul Cummins, is titled "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red", and I took photographs of it in its first stages, as it was being installed by volunteers in late July (Tower of London Poppies Commemorate The Great War).
The installation has proved to be so popular that the crowds were several people deep when I went to visit it last week during a late lunch break. In fact, the public were being told to keep away from the Tower of London as the installation was proving too popular. Volunteers were in the area to direct the crowds around to keep the flow.
At the same time, a petition was launched to keep the display at the Tower of London for a longer period of time. Recently, we were informed that part of the display (the 'wave' feature that appears to flow over the bridge and the 'weeping willow' that appears to cascade from a window) will remain intact until the end of the month. These will then go on display in various locations throughout the UK to bring a part of the installation to those who were unable to see it. The two features will then be on display at the Imperial War Museum so that future generations can appreciate them. The remainder of the poppies will be shipped to those who purchased them.
I knew that the art installation was proving to be popular at the weekends and during half-term as the trains to London were crowded with people mentioning going to see "the poppies at the Tower". However, I did not realise just how popular they were until I heard about people being asked not to visit the installation.
On my first visit to the installation, the area was empty. I noticed that a couple of people happened to come upon the installation and read an information board about it.
The crowd was several people deep on my latest visit, and it was too busy, so I did not bother to stay long.
Have you seen the poppies? The removal will start after November 11th, so there's still a good chance to see them before the volunteers finish collecting them and shipping them to their new owners.